Holyfield ist badly underrated at HW

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Contro, May 18, 2018.

  1. Contro

    Contro Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 7, 2016
    He fought the best of the best back to back for a decade and ducked no one. He was more willing to fight the best than anxone else from the mid 80s to late 90s.
    Yeah he sustained losses in that time but i personally don't count Bowe 3 and Mooter 1 as big detriments to his legacy because he was obviously impaired/sick/injured in some way for both of those fights.

    And even Bowe 1 would have been very winnable had he replied on his speed advantage instead of trying to knock Bowe out

    He won as a big underdog against both Bowe and Tyson.

    He started declining during his first reign as champion but managed to slow his decline(even though he had fights were he looked like old like Moorer 1 and czyz however that was not because he was shot but probably because of PED related side effects) by changing his style, siting down on his shots more and becoming smarter and more cautious so that he remained a really good fighter up until the Lewis fights.

    So even though he sustained losses in the relevant part of his HW career 88-99 his opposition more than makes up to it since the other great and near great HWs of the time didn't face that level of opposition back to back and were far more picky so those losses are more proof of his willingness than to fight anyone any time than proof of his inability.

    Holmes started ducking the best challengers while he was still champ.

    Bowes opposition other than Holyfield and Golota was terrible and his title defenses were laughable. No Mercer, Ruddock, Morrison, Lewis, Tucker etc

    Tyson, who I'm a fan of, had a career that was almost entirely fraudulent after prison outside of a few wins in 99-2000 which were mostly tainted also

    Lewis got KO'd cold in a way that was not becoming of an ATG(which he is) and fought Holyfield and Tyson too late

    Foremans second career also only contains a few good wins with mostly "filler"

    Another very important part of greatness for a HW imo is Chin and toughness and Holyfield had alot of that. In his prime every fight he was in was exciting.
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  2. Contro

    Contro Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 7, 2016
    I would argue that he should absolutely be in the top 10 at HW and that his relevant losses are a result of him taking chances that very very few ATG HWs took in terms of matchmaking, infact only Muhammad Ali comes to mind

    Dokes, Stewartx2,Foreman,Holmes,Bowe,Mercer,Tyson,Lewis,Ruiz,Rahman and Moorer

    Most of these guys were bigger, all of them could fight and hit really hard.

    7 lineal HW champs
    The worst guys he fought in the 5 years after he first became a legitimate HW champ was a motivated Cooper who was a replacement for prime even if not peak Tyson
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  3. Mr. Duran

    Mr. Duran New Member Full Member

    May 14, 2018
    I must admit, maybe I've been sheltered but I don't think I've ever read anyone say that Holyfield is under-rated at HW.

    His achievements, especially as a naturally smaller man, are incredibly respected and any questions asked only came later on and were solely rooted in the Evans Fields scandal.
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  4. mcvey

    mcvey Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 2, 2006
    He makes my top ten!
  5. Contro

    Contro Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 7, 2016
    Well quite a few seem to omit them from their HW top 10 in favor of guys who went undefeated against old 190lb guys. Imo Holyfield should be above Frazier Tyson and Marciano. Marciano went undefeated but against that old and small opposition so would many others.

    Frazier has the Ali win but Ali was not at his peak and Jimmy Ellis replicated all of his other wins. Holyfield Beats him in longevity, he fought more punchers than Frazier, beat more champions, has no glaring holes in his resumee and was never destroyed early.

    Holyfield Resumee ist a bit better than Tyson's and he has the wins vs Tyson on top of that.

    Lewis vs Holyfield in terms of ATG Rankings is debatable.
    Lewis beat him 1v1 but The Holyfield Lewis fights were competitive enough that it's easy to imagine a prime 88-91/2 Holyfield beating him up. Holyfield Resumee also Beats Lewis. He has a win over Bowe, a win over a much better Tyson and a win over Foreman and Mooter and an easier win vs Mercer.

    Lewis has devastating wins over Golota and Ruddock, and a dominant win over Tua
    But Holy never got KOd cold by one shot, which shouldn't happen to an ATG HW.

    The only cases I couldn't argue against are Louis Holmes and Ali over Holyfield. He is right up there in the mix for a lower half top 10 spot with the others.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  6. Gudetama

    Gudetama Active Member Full Member

    Sep 11, 2017
    Last year I put him in my top 10 at the heartbreaking omission of Frazier. I currently have him at number 9, one place below Jack Johnson and one place above Jack Dempsey.
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  7. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Nov 24, 2005
    He should definitely be rated above Tyson.

    I have him clear above Lewis.
  8. Big Ukrainian

    Big Ukrainian Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    All true.

    Evander at 30 (when he suffered his 1st loss) was already a CW and HW undisputed world champion with record 28-0 (22 KOs) with wins over Qawi (twice), De Leon, Thomas, Dokes, Douglas, Foreman and Holmes. At that time he was already 10-0 (7 KOs) in world title fights.

    After 30 Holyfield went on to score biggest wins of his career vs Bowe and Tyson (twice), as well as wins vs Moorer, Mercer, Ruiz and Rahman.

    He beat more lineal HW champions than anyone in history - 7. That's quite an accomplishment as Louis had 6 and Ali had 5, Lennox had 4.

    5 fighters that he beat are already in the IBHOF (Qawi, Foreman, Holmes, Tyson, Bowe)
  9. LD Boxer-Puncher

    LD Boxer-Puncher Active Member Full Member

    May 10, 2017
    Just in the top 10? Even you underrate him then, in my book, I have him number 3!
  10. The Morlocks

    The Morlocks Boxing Addict Full Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    He is everything Tyson and his fanatical fans wanted Mike to be. Tyson pretty much says so in interviews. Holy is elite.
  11. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    I recently and reluctantly replaced Holyfeild from my top ten for Joe Frazier. The reason that did it for me was that Holyfeild was always overshadowed by somebody else where as Frazier had only been overshadowed by Ali who he then beat which gave him a clean sweep of the late 1960s era and a much better best win. However, For all the champions we have to include now, I think Top15 is as good as top ten. So Evander is still an all time great. He was a great fighter but we must factor in a lot of other fighters who were higher regarded. Unless you sit down and compile all the champions yourself nobody can really knock anyone’s list.

    2 Louis
    3 Marciano
    4 Holmes
    5 Dempsey
    6 Johnson
    7 Lewis
    8 Frazier (Before the Ali fight)
    9 Jeffries
    10 Tyson
    11 Wlad klitschko
    12 Foreman
    13 Schmeling
    14 Charles
    15 Liston
    16 Patterson
    17 Walcott
    18 Holyfield
    19 Tunney
    20 Baer
    21 Johansson
    22 Bowe
    23 Sharkey
    24 Carnera
    25 Douglas
    26 Willard
    27 Burns
    28 Micheal Spinks
    29 Braddock
    30 Moorer
    31 Leon Spinks
    32 Briggs

    And including only SHW fighters (Never less than 225lb)

    1 Lewis
    2 Wlad klitschko
    3 Bowe
    4 Carnera
    5 Douglas
    6 vitali Klitschko
    7 Willard
    8 Briggs
    9 bonecrusher smith
    10 greg Page
    11 John Tate
    12 Valuev
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  12. ETM

    ETM Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Agree Holyfield was a once in a lifetime type of warrior. I would put Evander a notch or so above Joe Frazier for the reasons mentioned. I think a fighter can also get credit for losing if they do so in heroic fashion. Frazier' s performance in Manila for example boots his legacy. I think this also applies to Holyfield who lost his title to Bowe in one of the great title fights. Anybody remember round 10?
  13. Mr. Duran

    Mr. Duran New Member Full Member

    May 14, 2018
    Holyfield vs Bowe I was an ATG fight but can it be compared to Frazier vs Ali? I don't think so. Frazier lost to a man considered by many - though not myself - as the greatest Heavyweight in history while Holyfield lost to a man considered by most as a man who flattered to deceive and never fulfilled his potential.

    As for their individual heavyweight careers, Frazier was the second best fighter in an era considered by many as the golden era. Yes, Holyfield has some great names on his Heavyweight CV - Holmes, Foreman and Tyson - but the first two were trading on their names to some extent and Tyson had fought 9 rounds in 5 years: against Peter McNeely, Buster Mathias, Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon. The fear people genuinely felt for Holyfield heading into their first fight in November 1996 was rooted in the medical details emerging about his heart and a nostalgic, but completely at odds with the reality, image of a young Tyson bashing his way through the lost generation. I'm not saying he loses to peak Tyson but the win isn't as amazing as some think in my opinion.

    He, Holyfield, have some good stand out wins post Lewis, of course, and got robbed blind against Valuev, but does that allow him to leap-frog a man who has Ali, Ellis, Quarry, Bugner, Foster and Bonevena on his Hevyweight CV? I don't think so.

    In a list of ATG fighters regardless of their weight, I think Holyfield is ahead of Frazier because of his status as the greatest Cruiserweight in history combined with his success at the higher weight, but, as I said, I can't put him above Smokin' Joe in a just Heavyweight list.
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  14. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Holyfield in his prime had the ability to beat anyone, even the best of modern SHW's. With the likes of Louis, Marciano, Frazier etc it's always a case of what if. Well Holyfield proved he was good enough to hang with the best of them.
  15. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    You do know Holyfield played a big part in Bowe not reaching his full potential, those bouts were career shortening. It's amazing what Holyfield achieved by fighting these behemoths on a regular basis.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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